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Beyond the Hole in the Wall: Discover the Power of Self-Organized Learning (Kindle Single) (TED Books) [Kindle Edition]

Sugata Mitra , Nicholas Negroponte
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

Ten years ago, educator Sugata Mitra and his colleagues cracked open a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in New Delhi, installed a networked PC, and left it there for the local children to freely explore. What they quickly saw in their ‘Hole in the Wall’ experiment was that kids from one of the most desperately poor areas of the world could, without instruction, quickly learn how the PC operated. The children also freely collaborated with each other, exploring the world of high-tech online connectivity with ease. It was the dawning of Mitra’s introduction to self-organized learning, and it would shape the next decade of his research. This important update on Mitra’s groundbreaking work (which provided the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film 'Slumdog Millionaire') offers new research and ideas that show how self-directed learning can make kids smarter and more creative. He also provides step-by-step instruction on how to integrate it into any classroom. It’s an important lesson that could reshape our schools and reinvigorate our educational system. With a foreword by Nicholas Negroponte, founder of both MIT's Media Lab and the One Laptop per Child Association.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read - cutting edge educational research June 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Educators, I strongly recommend reading about Sugata Mitra's educational experiments that he calls MIE (Minimally Invasive Education). I am astounded by what he has accomplished. Next year, I have the great honour of designing and implementing a digital development right form kindergarten right through to grade 12. Wow. I am basing a huge amount of what I do on Sugata's research.

This is the future of education. It is changing before our eyes and it is one of the most exciting times to be alive in the education field.

Watch his TED talk and read his book. The world is about to change, be ahead of it.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read... however too short January 31, 2012
By Sridhar
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had seen Sugata Mitra's TED talk and was indeed inspired by it and thus when I saw a book from him I rushed in to buy it. What I did not realize was the content of the book was too brief. The book talks about the concepts, however falls short of talking about the implementation specifics (at least some examples would have been nice). The author does point out a few people who have tried out the concept and possibly leaves it to us to get in touch with them.
I would say it is a book which hands out the concept and tells us to try it out in our own way...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and Sweet introduction February 22, 2012
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This is a short and sweet introduction to the work of Prof Sugata Mitra. He is the inspiration for the book Q&A by Vikas Swarup and the Bollywood/Hollywood movie Slumdog Millionaire. His Hole-in-the-Wall experiment is an evolution in learning and teaching. Maybe we don't need to spend billions on Education like we do; unless we understand it is designed to create a complain society of workers and consumers.

Anyway the stories set in the near future are uncanny like short science fiction stories by Asimov. The best part for me was the practical guidelines at the end on how to impliment his SOLE or Self Organised Learning Environments. This book is highly recommended for people who've watched his two TED Talks and every single Computer Lab teacher or supervisor in South Africa.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good long article March 17, 2012
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I would consider this as a very long article rather than a book.

It's an excellent short read that answers the question why children learn much faster when it comes to new technologies computers or tablet devices, and how parents or gardians can utilize these technologies to a better learning.

I liked the conceptual part about "connectedness" and "self-organized systems" because it goes deeper in the cognitive part of learning. However I skimmed through the stories because I'm not interested in them.

I really recommend this book to those who are interested in education or may have kids, it's beneficial too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating insight into how we learn October 27, 2014
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A few months back I found Sugata Mitra's TED talk on Pinterest. I loved the TED talk and it really felt like it was just for me. I'm a homeschool mom of four and constantly on the lookout for ways to reach and teach my children and in ways that they can retain the most. I believe that teachers learn the most on topics they teach and am interested in child led learning. This mode of learning makes sense to me. Human beings are very social creatures and normally enjoy learning and sharing knowledge that is why this method is so effective. I recommend this book for all teachers, educators and parents. The only reason I gave this a four star opposed to five is because I disagree with the Mitra about arithmetic. I believe giving children a solid foundation in reading,writing and arithmetic is crucial to further learning and understanding. I also feel that only obtaining information from the internet could have dangerous repercussions in countries where propaganda and censorship exist. The ideal balance in my opinion is the use of the internet, books and older people. That being said I found this book very exciting and the research and information very relevant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do children learn or do teachers teach? July 17, 2013
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This book has thrilled me as few others. It is an almost unbelievable testimony to the human mind, and what cooperation, sharing, discussion and the courage to 'just do it' can do. This book proves what 'Progressive' educators have been saying for almost a century - allow children to teach them selves, and literacy will follow. I'm not telling you a thing about the book, except it is one of the most significant books on education I've read. And when I finally settle down in my home, I know just the wall I'm going to make this magic hole in!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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Short but very interesting read. Dr. Mitra shares new methods of learning appropriate for the 21st Century that has huge ramifications for education in the developing world, challenging the systems in place in the developed world. A must read for anyone concerned about education.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent ideas February 26, 2013
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Great book, we clearly need to change what we're doing in schools and the author has some great and feasible ideas.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars TED Talk: part 2
I had previously watched Sugata Mitra's TED talk and was excited by what his work demonstrates. The book carries the talk even further and addresses other educational issues as... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring
Children who have learned or are learning through this project will have much to teach us and our traditional schooling system.
Published 2 months ago by Cedric Borzee
5.0 out of 5 stars just the beginning
A small book that leaves open so many questions. There is a short fictional history read within the explanation of the method that is quite interesting. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
I love the combination of scientific results and the fictional futuristic story which provides imagery of what maybe possible. Read more
Published 2 months ago by jonesm
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Inspiring
Published 5 months ago by gary mcspadden
5.0 out of 5 stars Children are self-directed learners at heart, if you give them...
Really great book about the Hole in the Wall experiment, where children taught themselves how to use a computer using peers to help them. Read more
Published 8 months ago by spersephone
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful and inspiring is all I can say about this research!
Published 9 months ago by G. Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Every kid deserve to be discovered as genius!
Dr Mitra shares his discoveries in learning dynamics. Shows a scientific approach to self organizing systems, focusing in learning environment, as findings from his "Hole in... Read more
Published 10 months ago by David Zarza
5.0 out of 5 stars Discovery
I have listened to all of the TED Talks posted by Sugata Mitra. I find him to be wonderfully engaging and knowledgeable. Read more
Published 10 months ago by csarpalius
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting approach
Novel ideas to promote and assess learning..it will be interesting to see if test scores improve using this approach or if more directed questions need to be asked
Published 11 months ago by Dr. Evol
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More About the Author

Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle Uniersity in the UK and currently Visiting Professor at the MIT Media Lab, Sugata likes building labs. Here are some of the things he did in the labs be made:

1978: Computational Chemistry lab In the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. Found that the energy band structure of organic semiconductors, which determine what the molecule does, depends on its structure and not on the constituent atoms. In other words. Design determines function.

1981: Electrochemistry lab, IIT Delhi and the Technical University of Vienna, Austria. Designed a zinc-chlorine battery that is still in use.

1984: Technology Lab at United India Periodicals in Delhi. Here he created a PC networking based publishing system for a newspaper and predicted the beginning of desktop publishing. Here too were born the Yellow Page industries of India and Bangladesh.

1990: The R&D labs at NIIT Limited, New Delhi. From here came Imaginet, a hyperlinking environment,while the Internet was beginning in the rest of the world. India's first perception recorder, a continuous voting machine, was made here. Augmented reality, remote controlled Internet cameras and vehicles, tests for learning styles, intelligent medicine dispensers, talking displays for museums, were all designed and built here.

1999: NIIT's Centre for Research in Cognitive Systems. From here came a set of experiments with unsupervised learning amongst groups of children with the Internet. Later called the 'Hole In The Wall' experiments, these experiments were repeated in slums and villages all over India, Cambodia and Africa. The results were to shake the very foundations of formal education.

2006: Newcastle University. From here, Mitra devised the concept of Self Organised Learning Environments (SOLEs), where children control their own learning much as they did from their holes in the wall. Through a series of experiments in England and India, he showed that groups of children can learn anything by themselves. A friendly, but not necessarily knowledgeable adult mediator helps, and Mitra went on to create the 'Granny Cloud', retired teachers who interact with groups of children over Skype.

2012: MIT Media Lab: Sugata Mitra now spends three months in England, three months in India and six months in the USA. He is trying to answer Nicholas Negroponte's question, 'can children learn to read by themselves?'


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